Citizens concerned as new well for Wales is delayed

WALES—Delays on the construction of a new water well in Wales are disconcerting to some citizens during the drought that Sanpete County is currently enduring.

In 2010, a second well, also known as the Edmund Well, was drilled to help provide enough water for the town. Recently this pump inherited a problem of pulling in sand, and sometimes it has to be pumped for a period of time to clear the water before it can be pumped to the town’s water tanks.

Due to this issue, the town has been drilling a replacement well, which in turn has inherited a few problems of its own.

The replacement well was originally supposed to be completed in October of 2020. Several setbacks have stopped that from happening. One of those setbacks was obtaining the materials needed due to COVID-19. There were also two change orders that have lengthened the timeline.

Less than 40 percent of the town’s residents have access to the secondary irrigation water. Water rights have been sold off to town lots, causing most water users to tap the town’s culinary water system for laws and gardens.

Though rumors have been circulating through the town, Velva Sherman, the town clerk, assured residents that the well is not down, but pumping water as usual into the tank.

At a meeting in April, the town council did institute water regulations in response to the suggestion of the town’s water superintendent, Wendall Roberts.

It was also felt that the town should follow the governor’s urging to conserve water due to the seriousness of the drought.

“In my eight years working for the town, Wales has never allowed water connections outside of the town limits and the present town council has no intention of ever changing that,” said Sherman.

The well replacement has not gone well and has been the source of a good bit of contention in the town. The council pushed to get this project started in plenty of time to have new and cleaner well up and running for this year. Things just have not turned out as planned and the project has been a frustration to the town council.

“The members of the town council are good men, and they are taking a lot of flak,” she said. “These men are just doing the best they can to make good decisions for Wales Town.”